Costa Rica just completed their orientation at the Rainforest Adventure Center (RAC), where they filled their days with adventurous excursions and group development activities. The RAC is located in the Talamanca mountains, in the Savegre river valley, which is a gorgeous rainforested region a few hours south of San José.
To arrive at the RAC, the group hiked 2 hours through conservation lands. The Fonseca family, who founded the RAC, was waiting for them when they arrived. There, the group settled in to their new home and prepared for adventure amongst the natural beauty of the rainforest.
The next three days were filled with excursions including ziplining through the canopy, climbing a massive wasimo tree, and gathering soil for the family’s hydroponic system for their organic farm. The group also rappelled down a waterfall, where they feasted their eyes on the awesome power of falling water as they descended on belay to its base. A quiet walk through the Fonseca’s medicinal garden sparked discussions of public health and culture. Another activity the group really enjoyed was a tortilla and chocolate-making lesson from Doña Rosa at the RAC, where they learned the processes of preparing these Costa Rican staples as well as their cultural significances.
The 4th of July was Independence Day for our group, the day that group initiative was put in the hands of its members and the practice of “leaders of the day” began. Mike and Melissa, who had birthdays this week, were chosen to lead first, and were put in charge of managing the schedule for the day. On the 5th, the group hiked out of the RAC in silence, tuning in to the intricate sounds of the rainforest. Together, they watched the Costa Rica-Netherlands game at a restaurant, and despite the disappointing outcome for the ticos, erupted in a spontaneous salsa dance party after the game.
The closing evening of orientation included a problem-solving activity, the development of a Full Value contract, and an introduction with homestay partners. Most pairs found that they shared the butterfly feelings of being at once excited and a bit nervous for the homestay. Today they travel to San Antonio to move in with their host families and begin the first steps of their project.
We hope to receive more pictures from the group soon, as well as another update, coming your way!
Group photo in the cloud forest.
Hands-on practice at the chocolate-making workshop.
Salsa dance party after the Costa Rica game.